Angling records in the UK
This is an impartial and comprehensive record list of 285 British record freshwater fish and present, involving 55 different species/sub-species of fish caught using the traditional angling method of rod and line. Records to include the angler, weight, venue referenced with a recognizable publication; the list is intended to include all categories of fish caught by anglers, that enter freshwater including and some migratory sea fish. Time since last record fish was caught = 53 days. There have been many ambiguous record claims over the years. Here are a few of those that never made the record list, with the reason why in bold: 21 lb 2oz Barbel caught by Chris Mack on the Wensum 2008. No independent witnesses to the weigh in. 5 oz 8 dr Bleak caught by David Selley on the River Lark 2017. Rejected as a hybrid by BRFC. 38 lb Ferox Brown Trout caught by old Willie Maule. Evidence destroyed by fire. 8 lb Burbot largest recorded in England, caught from the river Trent around 1700 - 1800. No date/also method of capture unknown.
83lb 4oz Mirror Carp "Big Plated" caught from Wingham syndicate carp lake in Kent, November 2017 No record claimed - angler wanted no publicity. 10 lb 8oz Chub caught from the River Annan in 1955 by Dr. J. A. Cameron Not authenticated with body scales for examination. 4lb 14oz Crucian caught by Howard Reeve at Borwick Lakes Fishery, Lancs, April 2015 Assume failed DNA test. 1lb 6oz Dace caught from a Nene tributary Feb 2016 Angler's name unknown and no record claimed. 13 lb 1oz Eel caught by Dave saunders at Idenwood Fishery, East Sussex in 2010 No independent witnesses. 9lb Golden Orfe caught by Bob Roberts at Anglers Paradise, Devon in Feb 2009. Not weighed. Golden orfe video 5 lb Grayling caught by Dave Williams from the River Severn near Newtown, Wales, in 2010 Captor ate the evidence with chips + No independent witnesses. 6oz Gudgeon caught by Ashley Bennett from the River Wandle in 2016. Not weighed. 1lb 3oz 4dr Lamprey caught by S. Clews from River Severn in May 1924 No confirmation this fish was caught by line method.
6 lb 4oz Perch caught by angler known as "Bill" from River Thames in March 2014 Assumed reason is lack of independent witnesses. Largest Pike found dead at River Endrick/Loch Lomond in 1934 Not caught by rod and line. 5 lb 2oz Rudd caught Adrian Cannon from a Fenland Drain 2012. No independent witnesses. Unweighed monster Salmon caught in River Ness 2007 Not weighed. Dean Fletcher's 68lb 1oz British record Carp "The Parrot" about to be weighed, January 2016 courtesy of twitter. Neill Stephen's 9lb 5oz British record equaling Chub of 2012 at the weigh in, courtesy of YouTube. Oz Holness's 67lb 8oz British record Carp "Two Tone" being weighed in, 2008 courtesy of YouTube; these fish are classed as a significant risk to our native species and if caught must be removed to protect the wider environment and should be reported to the Environment Agency. Anyone found introducing non indigenous species to any external body of UK water will be breaching the Import of Live Fish Act 1980 and will be prosecuted.
The fish in question include: Black bullhead Catfish, Doctor fish, Fathead minnow, Largemouth bass, Smallmouth bass, Siberian sturgeon, Topmouth gudgeon, Walleye. Note that this does not apply to non indigenous fish which are included on the main record list which are Carp, Crucian carp, Grass Carp, Pumpkinseed, Rainbow trout, Wels Catfish, Zander, which are now considered to be naturalized. Note 1 see Angling records of Europe. Note 2 * - This is one of the many records rejected by the BRFC when it was decided to nullify most of the existing British record fish in the purge of 1968, due to lack of creditable evidence. Note 3 This fish is listed as either extinct in the UK only, Critically Endangered species status, Endangered species status, Vulnerable species status, by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. If caught, must be reported to the Environment Agency and returned to the water unharmed. Note 4 - It is assumed that Wels catfish records were suspended by the BRFC in 2000 due to suspected importation of a fish near to or over the British Record, which could quite be an infringement of Import of Live Fish Act 1980.
Note 5 - No records have been found for Pollan which are found only in Northern Ireland, listed as an Endangered species status and if caught, must be reported to the Environment Agency and returned to the water unharmed. Note 6 - No records have been found for Spined loach. Note 7 - See Dangerous non indigenous species above Note 8 - This record is or was not recognised by the BRFC. Note 9 - Any species natural to river only will not be recognized when caught in Stillwater, as they will be considered as being cultivated in a non-natural environment. Note 10 - No photographic evidence has been published
Catch and release
Catch and release is a practice within recreational fishing intended as a technique of conservation. After capture, the fish are returned to the water. A fast measurement and weighing of the fish is worthwhile. Using barbless hooks, it is possible to release the fish without removing it from the water. In the United Kingdom and release has been performed for more than a century by coarse fishermen in order to prevent target species from disappearing in fished waters. Since the latter part of the 20th century, many salmon and sea trout rivers have been converted to complete or partial catch and release. In the United States and release was first introduced as a management tool in the state of Michigan in 1952 as an effort to reduce the cost of stocking hatchery-raised trout. Anglers fishing for fun rather than for food accepted the idea of releasing the fish while fishing in so-called "no-kill" zones. Conservationists have advocated catch and release as a way to ensure sustainability and to avoid overfishing of fish stocks.
Lee Wulff, a New York-based fly angler and film maker, promoted catch and release as early as 1936 with the phrase "Game fish are too valuable to be caught only once." Don Martinez a West Yellowstone, Montana fly shop owner promoted catch and release in his 1930–40s newsletters sent to Eastern anglers. In Australia and release caught on with some pioneers practicing it in the 1960s, the practice became more widespread in the 1970s and 1980s. Catch and release is now used to conserve—and indeed is critical in conserving—vulnerable fish species like the large, long lived native freshwater Murray Cod and the prized growing fished Australian bass fished coastal species like Dusky Flathead and prized gamefish like striped marlin. In Ireland and release has been used as a conservation tool for Atlantic salmon and sea trout fisheries since 2003. A number of fisheries now have mandatory release regulations. Catch and release for coarse fish has been used by sport anglers for as long as these species have been fished for on this island.
However catch and release for Atlantic salmon has required a huge turn about in how many anglers viewed the salmon angling resource. To encourage anglers to practice catch and release in all fisheries a number of government led incentives have been implemented. In Canada and release is mandatory for some species. Canada requires, in some cases, the use of barbless hooks to facilitate release and minimize injury. In Switzerland and Germany and release fishing is considered inhumane and is now banned. In Germany, the Animal Welfare Act states that "no-one may cause an animal pain, suffering or harm without good reason"; this leaves no legal basis for catch and release due to its argued inherent lack of "good reason", thus personal fishing is allowed for immediate food consumption. Additionally, it is against the law to release fish back into the water if they are above minimum size requirements and aren't a protected species or in closed season. In 2011, the National Park Service in Yellowstone National Park began reversing decades of regulation that promoted catch and release and other techniques that protected fish populations.
In the name of native fish conservation, they began mandatory kill regulations on rainbow and brook trout in the Lamar River drainage and encouraged unlimited taking and disposal of non-native species, including brown trout in some park waters. Over the last few decades there has been an emphasis on the development and refinement of science-based practices to increase the likelihood that released fish will survive; that work led to the development of the UN FAO Technical Guidelines for Recreational Fisheries. Effective catch and release fishing techniques avoid excessive fish fighting and handling times, avoid damage to fish skin and slime layers by nets, dry hands and dry surfaces, avoid damage to throat ligaments and gills by poor handling techniques, it is important to use a type of net, not abrasive to the fish, because fish can damage themselves in a hard plastic-style net while thrashing. The use of barbless hooks is an important aspect of release. Fish caught on barbless hooks can be released without being removed from the water, the hook effortlessly slipped out with a single flick of the pliers or leader.
Barbless hooks can be purchased from several major manufacturers or can be created from a standard hook by crushing the barb flat with needle-nosed pliers. Some anglers avoid barbless hooks because of the erroneous belief. Concentrating on keeping the line tight at all times while fighting fish, equipping lures that do not have them with split rings, using recurved point or "Triple Grip" style hooks on lures, will keep catch rates with barbless hooks as high as those achieved with barbed hooks. One study looking at brook trout found that barbless hooks had no statistically significant effect on mortality rates when fish were hooked in the mouth, but observed that they did reduce mortalities compared to barbed hooks if fish were hooked deeper; the study suggested bait fishing does not have a higher mortality when utilized in an active style, rather than a passive manner that allows the fish to swallow the bait. The effects of catch and release vary from species to species. A study of fish caught in shallow water on the Great Barrier Reef showed high survival rates.
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Fly fishing tackle
Fly fishing tackle comprises the fishing tackle or equipment used by fly anglers. Fly fishing tackle includes: Fly rods - a specialized type of fishing rod designed to cast fly line and artificial flies Fly reels - a specialized type of fishing reel designed to hold fly line and supply drag if required to land heavy or fast fish. Fly line - a specialized form of fishing line, designed to allow easy casting with a fly rod and interact with the water by either floating or sinking Terminal tackle not including artificial flies used to connect the fly line to the artificial fly Accessories - tools, gadgets and apparel used by the fly angler for maintenance and preparation of tackle, dealing the fish being caught as well as personal comfort and safety while fly fishing. Includes fly boxes used to carry artificial flies. Fly rods vary between 2 m and 4 m in length with the most common length sold being 2.74 m. Rod lengths are given in imperial measurements of feet and inches. Fly rods and lines are designated as to their "weight" written as Nwt where'N' is the number.
Rods are matched to the line according to weight. The rod's manufacturer will mark on the rod the fly line. One-weight rods and lines are the lightest; the heaviest rods and lines available are 16-weight. In general, 1wt through 2wt rods would be used for the cast small flies for small trout and panfish; the heaviest rods are used for bluewater species while fishing from a boat. The characteristics of these rods reflect the fact that only short casts are needed during this type of fly fishing, while lifting ability is at a premium; the species pursued, under which conditions, will determine the weight of rod selected. Next, it is important to match the line to the weight of the rod. Using too heavy a line on too light on a rod, or vice versa, will affect casting performance, it may permanently warp the rod blank. Speaking, you can safely go one line weight more or less. There are rods stamped with a range of weights. For example, a rod may be rated 7-8wt; this indicates the rod is designed for either 8 weight fly line.
There are some rods rated for wider ranges. The drawback to multi-rated rods is that compromises in flexibility or action are made in order to accommodate a wider range of line weights. For example, a rod rated for 8-9 weight line will be stiffer than a straight 8wt but softer than a straight 9wt rod. In general, the more expensive the rod, the more it'll be designated for a single line weight rather than a range. Saltwater fly rods are built to handle powerful fish and to cast large, bulky flies over longer distances or into strong winds. Saltwater fly rods are fitted with heavier, corrosion-resistant fittings; the reel seat may be equipped with a short extension called a "fighting butt". Rods for saltwater fishing fall into the 8 to 15 weight class, with 12-weight being typical for most larger species like tuna and wahoo. Note that the line weight generalities described above hold for both single-handed fly rods as well as double-handed fly rods used for Spey Casting, but the length and usage of double-handed rods varies significantly.
The earliest fly rods were made from greenheart, a tropical wood, bamboo originating in the Tonkin area of Guangdong Province in China. The mystical appeal of handmade split-cane rods has endured despite the emergence over the last 50 years of cheaper rod-making materials that offer more durability and performance: fiberglass and carbon fiber. Split-cane bamboo fly rods combine sport and art, it may take well over 100 hours for an experienced rod builder to select and split the raw cane and to cure, plane, taper, glue and finish each rod. Quality rods made by famous rod makers may sell for prices well beyond US$2,000; these rods offer grace, and, with their solid mass, surprising strength. Bamboo rods vary in action from slow to fast depending on the taper of the rod. In competent hands, they provide the pinnacle in performance. Today, fly rods are made from carbon fiber/graphite with cork or, less hypalon being favored for the grip; such rods offer greater stiffness than bamboo, are much more consistent and less expensive to manufacture, require less maintenance.
Fiberglass was popular for rods constructed in the years following World War II and was the "material of choice" for many years. However, by the late 1980s, carbon/graphite composite rods had emerged as the materials used by most fly rod manufacturers; these premium rods offer a stiffness and feel unmatched by any other synthetic material. Grap
The reach cast is a casting technique used in fly fishing. The reach cast involves casting the fly lure over flowing water, such as a stream, just before the fly lands, moving the arm and fly rod in the upstream direction to arrange the fishing line so that it produces less apparent drag in the water; the technique allows the lure to more resemble a free-floating insect, resulting in greater chance of it being taken by a fish. Reach casting allows an experienced caster to pitch curved casts in order to get the lures into difficult places. Reach casting is most used in fishing freshwater streams for trout although the reach cast is used in some saltwater fishing where one can stand in the shallows and there is a consistent current moving in one direction. A reach cast is considered a type of mend during the casting stroke, an in-air mend prior to the fly landing in the water. Without this cast adjustment, the line would grow taut upon impact with the moving water's surface and would pull the fly against the current or across it, making its motion become more unnatural to the fish seeking an insect that has just landed on the water.
In many streams, current may flow more along the edges where it is shallower and there is drag introduced by the shore, surface-feeding trout and other fish tend to linger in the still part of the water. When casting a line across a stream, the line can land in the swifter-running portion of the current, would pull against the fly lure that lands in the slower-moving water; the reach cast introduces some slack to compensate for the faster-moving water, allowing the fly to land and move more like a floating insect. Spey casting
Rock fishing is fishing from rocky outcrops into the sea. It is a popular pastime in New Zealand, it can be a dangerous pastime and claims many lives each year, although this may improve as more fishermen are beginning to wear life jackets. According to Surf Life Saving Australia's 2009 Coastal Report, there were 94 drownings on the coast of Australia, for the year to July 2009. Of those deaths 12 were related to fishing; the Randwick Council area in Sydney NSW, is the National black spot for rock fishing deaths, with 10 in the past 5 years. Rock fishing can be a line only. Both ground and surface fishing are successful methods. Rock fishing can be done both with natural bait. While bottom fishing relies on natural bait, both natural bait and artificial lures are used in different forms of surface rock fishing; some fishers who are rock fishing use an umbrella rig in spring, use bait fish, such as perch and bluegill, in summer and autumn. Using an umbrella rig is a method of trolling. An umbrella rig consists of four plastic neon green lures with a lead dragging behind.
An additional lure is attached to the lead. Only the lure behind the lead will have hooks attached because this lure can appear to a stalking fish as the wounded or sick laggard in a school, making it a more target. Another method of rock fishing is using bait fish; the bait fish may be bought from a store. Bait fish can cut up into pieces; the size and type of bait fish used will vary depending. Problems may arise from the fact that sea bottom areas close to a rocky water's edge consist of jagged rocks, which can cause a sinker rig to become snagged beyond recovery and thus be lost. Conversely, surface fishing with a float or buoy is made difficult by the fact that rocky shore areas can have strong currents, in which light floats in particular can be carried away from a desired area. Spin fishing as a form of surface fishing can allow more control over a lure or bait in these conditions. Rock Angling as the name suggests entails the angler fishing from a rock ledge or outcrop on the shore; this will allow the angler access to deeper water than from the beach, which means more fish.
Fishing from rock ledges and outcrops can be dangerous and should never be done alone, as anglers each year are swept off rocks by the power of the sea and some of these are swept to their deaths. An angler rock fishing will use a rod of between 10 and 11 feet when fishing from rocks although the full Beach Casters of 12 to 14 feet may be used when distance casting is required or a stiff rod is required due to rough ground, it is usual that only short casting is required from rocks to catch fish as they tend to be close in trying to feed of crabs and other animals. Again the angler may use a fixed spool reel or a multiplier reel loaded with line from as little as 8 pound to 30 pounds over rough ground; when fishing from rocks several different methods can be used such as bait fishing, spinning/plugging and float fishing. Bait fishing will be much the same as from the beach but the most common bait would now be peeler crab and hard back crab. Spinning/plugging involves casting an artificial lure or plug and retrieving it to induce a fish to'take' attack the lure or plug.
Whilst float fishing is suspending a bait a rag worm, sand eel of prawn below a float. The species of fish targeted will be the same as from the beach but will include species such as Ballan Wrasse. Species varie from coast to coast, but the main species from rock marks are conger eels, various species of ray, cod and bullhuss. A rotten bottom system is used among professional anglers looking to cut down on tackle losses due to rocky snags. 2014 National Coastal Safety Report Brown, Gary Beach & Rock Fishing. ISBN 1865130818 Investigation into the Coronial Files of Rock Fishing Fatalities that have occurred in NSW between 1992 - 2000 Rock fishing safety Rock fishing: deadliest sport down under Basic Guide to Rock Fishing Rock Fishing in Britain: Showcasing fish species and techniques
An artificial fly or fly lure is a type of fishing lure used in the sport of fly fishing. In general, artificial flies are an imitation of natural food sources which fly fishers present to their target species of fish while fly fishing. Artificial flies are constructed by fly tying, in which furs, thread or any of many other materials are tied onto a fish hook. Artificial flies may be constructed to represent all manner of potential freshwater and saltwater fish prey to include aquatic and terrestrial insects, worms, vegetation, spawn, small reptiles, amphibians and birds, etc. Effective artificial fly patterns are said to be killing flies because of their ability to put fish in the creel for the fly fisher. There are thousands of artificial fly patterns, many of them with descriptive and idiosyncratic names. Fly tying is a common practice in fly fishing, considered by many anglers an important part of the fly fishing experience. Many fly fishers tie their own flies, either following patterns in books, natural insect examples, or using their own imagination.
The technique involves attaching small pieces of feathers, animal fur, other materials on a hook in order to make it attractive to fish. This is made by wrapping thread around the hook and tying on the desired materials. A fly is sized according to the width of the hook gap; the construction of tube flies is different in that the tier secures materials a tube rather than to a hook. These flies are rigged by passing the fishing line through the tube before attaching a hook. Fly patterns are considered either "imitations" or "attractors"; these can be further broken down into nymphs, dry flies, eggs and streamers. Imitations seek to deceive fish through the lifelike imitation of insects on which the fish may feed. Imitators do not always have to be realistic in appearance. Attractors, which are brightly colored, seek to draw a strike by arousing an aggression response in the fish. Famous attractors are the Royal Wulff flies; the first literary reference to flies and fishing with flies was in Ælian's Natural History written about 200 A.
D. That work discussed; the Treatyse on Fysshynge with an Angle was published within The Boke of St. Albans attributed to Dame Juliana Berners; the book contains, along with instructions on rod and hook making, dressings for different flies to use at different times of the year. The first use of the term Artificial fly came in Izaac Walton's The Compleat Angler, Oh my good Master, this morning walk has been spent to my great pleasure and wonder: but I pray, when shall I have your direction how to make Artificial flyes, like to those that the Trout loves best? The 1652 4th edition of John Dennys's The Secrets of Angling, first published in 1613, contains the first known illustration of an artificial fly. By the early 19th century, the term artificial fly was being used in angling literature much like this representative quote from Thomas Best's A Concise Treatise on the Art of Angling to refer to all types of flies used by fly fishers; the art of artificial fly-fishing has the pre-eminence over the other various methods that are used to take fishes in the art of angling Although the term fly was a reference to an imitation of some flying insect, by the mid-19th century the term fly was being applied to a far greater range of imitation.
The term fly is applied by sea fishermen to a certain arrangement of feathers, etc. which I am about to describe the manufacture of, which may be used with considerable success in mackerel and pollack fishing. I am not disposed to think, that such baits are mistaken by the fish which they are intended to capture for flies. A major concept in the sport of fly fishing is that the fly imitates some form of fish prey when presented to the fish by the angler; as aquatic insects such as Mayflies and Stoneflies were the primary prey being imitated during the early developmental years of fly fishing, there were always differing schools of thought on how a fly needed to imitate the fish's prey. In the mid to late 19th century, those schools of thought, at least for trout fishing were: the formalists and the colourists. Today, some flies are called attractor patterns because in theory, they do not resemble any specific prey, but instead attract strikes from fish. For instance, Charles Jardine, in his 2008 book "Flies and Techniques," speaks of imitators and attractors, categorizing the Royal Wulff as an attractor and the Elk Hair Caddis as an imitator, whereas "... in sea trout and steelhead fishing there is a combination of imitation and attraction involved in fly construction".
Paul Schullery in American Fly Fishing – A History explains however that although much has been written about the imitation theories of fly design, all successful fly patterns must imitate something to the fish, a perfect imitation attracts strikes from fish. The huge range of fly patterns documented today for all sorts of target species-trout, salmon and panfish, saltwater, tropical exotics, etc. are not categorized as imitative, attractors or somet